Throwing A First Birthday Party: 5 Tried and True Tips For New Parents

With a shared appreciation for good taste and fine living, creative-minded cousins Jeanne Chan and Gloria Wong Tritasavit co-founded Harlow & Grey, a line of chic and modern disposable tableware, to make entertaining both easy and elevated. The company was founded on the belief that high style and good design should be accessible to anyone who can dream it. Today, Gloria (co-founder, creative director and a mother of 3) is sharing a few useful tips to throwing your child’s first birthday party.

First birthday parties are so special and sweet, but they can also be stressful and overwhelming for busy parents. And to sleep-deprived new parents, planning a birthday party is probably the last thing they have on their minds.

As much as we don’t want to think about it, we know the pressure is on. After all, these memories (and Instagram photos) will be treasured for a lifetime. To ease the stress of planning your child’s first birthday party, we’re sharing a few party planning styling tips to help make this milestone celebration enjoyable and unforgettable for the baby and parents!

Pick a nice concept void of characters.

Your kid will eventually pick his or her own theme, whether it be Dora the Explorer or Thomas the Train. So, for the first few birthdays of his or her life, YOU get to choose! So, have fun with it. Do what your own heart desires because this is about you as much as it is about your kid. YOU made it through your first year of parenthood, and you should celebrate.

The decor does not need to be child-like. In fact, it can and actually should reflect your own style. For first birthday parties, your guest list will likely include many more adults than kids. So, make it fun and inviting for everyone!

For Sonny’s party, we came up with the concept based on Harlow & Grey’s paper tableware. The gold, blush, and mint green hues from their Daydream and Desert Rose collections served as an inspiration for the rest of the party. It was pretty much all about the colors! How simple is that?!

Repeat color palette.

To make everything come together cohesively, insert the colors wherever you can. You’ll see that we infused that gold, blush, and mint green combo from Harlow & Grey’s paper goods into the balloons and the desserts. Wild Child Party customized the balloon garland with tropical foliage for a summer party. Little cookies and cupcakes from Sweet & Saucy Shop with blush and mint green frosting. Macarons in the same color palette. S’mores tarts with gold leaves.

Personalize the party.

Share a little tidbit about your baby. For Sonny’s party, we decided to have fun with his adorable nickname “Chickens”! We had an Etsy vendor make gold-mirrored chicken cupcake toppers. We also displayed a lightbox with the words “Happy Birthday Chickens”.


Don’t forget to add florals and foliage. 

Opt for simple white floral arrangements and green foliage to balance off the fun colors on the table, like the ones here by Rooted & Wild. If you can, try to display a pair of tall and low floral arrangements on the side to add some dimension to the table.


Paper tableware weights for an outdoor party.

For outdoor events, even when the weather is forecasted to be unbearably hot,

we recommend placing weighted objects over paper tableware to anchor them down against wind. We wouldn’t want plates flying off the table! In this instance, we painted some wood blocks in the color palette of blush and mint green to hold down plates. Party concept and tableware by Harlow & Grey. Balloon installation by Wild Child Party. Cupcakes and sweet treats by Sweet & Saucy Shop. Floral arrangements by Rooted & Wild.

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